The Eastern Post & City Chronicle
Saturday, 15 September 1888.
The inquest on the body of Annie Chapman, found murdered in the back yard of 29, Hanbury Street, Spitalfields, last Saturday morning, was resumed on Wednesday, at the Working Lads' Institute. Mr. Wynne Baxter took his seat just after two, when only about half of the jurymen had arrived. The rest came in after a few minutes waiting, and proceedings were resumed, the first witness being a brother of the deceased, a young man who seemed to give his evidence with great reluctance, and in so low a tone that few of the jury could have heard anything of it. The publicity into which he was so painfully dragged was evidently very distasteful to him. James Kent came next. He described himself as a packing-case maker, and gave his evidence with a good deal of action, holding up his horny hands before his throat to show how the woman had probably struggled against her assailant, with quite a ghastly effect. He was one of those called in by the man Davies, who had first made discovery of the body. James Green was another, and the questions put to him turned mainly on the probability of anybody having touched the body before the police arrived; but he added nothing very material in the way of information.
Mrs. Richardson, Mrs. Hardiman, and John Richardson having given evidence, the next witness was quite unexpected, and created some little sensation. He was no other than John Piser, the notorious "Leather Apron," and his appearance as a witness was not understood. He took the oath in the Hebrew fashion, and fell at once into an attitude of easy composure, which he maintained without moving a muscle through a tolerably long examination. He spoke good English, and answered all questions in a perfectly calm, clear voice, but with the deliberation of a man who had just been in deadly peril, and still felt the need of the utmost caution. He acknowledged at the outset that he was the man known by the nickname of "Leather Apron."
The first witness called at the resumed inquest on Wednesday was Fontain Smith, a very respectable looking man, who gave his evidence in a painfully low tone. He said that he was a printer's warehouseman and had seen the body in the mortuary.
The Coroner: Do you recognise her? - Yes.
Who is she? - My eldest sister.
What was her name?
The Witness: Annie Chapman after she was married. Her husband was a head coachman at Windsor. He died on Christmas Day, 1886. They had lived separate for three or four years. She was 47 years of age. I last saw her alive about a fortnight ago at Westminster. She recognised me first, and I gave her 2s. She did not tell me where she was living, but she said she was not doing anything. I know nothing of her associates.
James Kent, packing-case maker, residing at Shadwell, said he worked for Mr. Bailey, 23a, Hanbury Street, Spitalfields. He usually began work at 6 o'clock. Last Saturday morning he arrived at 10 minutes or a quarter past 6. The gate of his employer's place was open, but he waited outside a minute or two to see whether any fellow workman would come up. While he was waiting an old man named Davis (the one who discovered the body) ran out of the house where he lived in Hanbury Street and cried, "Men, come here." The witness and a man with him named James Green went up and entered the house out of which Davis had come. They passed along the passage to the back door.
The Coroner: Did you see the body of a woman?
The Witness: I did. She was lying in the yard between the back door steps and the fence. Her head was towards the house, but not against it. She was lying flat on the ground. Her clothes were thrown back, and you could see her knees. Her face was visible. I did not go into the yard, but I went to look at her twice. I do not think anybody went into the yard until the inspector (Chandler) arrived.
Could you see she was dead? - Yes; she had some kind of handkerchief round her neck which seemed "soaked" into her throat. Her face and hands were smeared with blood, as if she had struggled. She looked as if she had been sprinkled with water or something. I did not touch her.
What do you mean by a struggle? Well, she looked as if she had fought with her hands while lying on her back - as if she had fought for her throat. Her arms were bent with the hands towards the upper part of her body. There were marks of blood on her legs, but I did not see any running blood.
Was there running blood on her clothes? - Well, sir, I did not notice. I was too frightened to look very particularly.
Did you go for the police? - I went to the front of the house to look for a policeman, but could not find one. After that I got some brandy, and then went into the workshop for some canvas to throw over the body. When I returned to the house a mob had assembled, and the inspector was in possession of the yard. Everyone that looked at the body seemed frightened as if they would run away. We could see the place out of our shop yard.
Does anybody reach the shop before you? - Yes; the foreman, about 10 minutes to 6 o'clock.
James Green, 36, Acland Street, Burdett Road, said he was a packing-case maker, in the employ of Mr. Bailey, Hanbury Street. He arrived at work about 10 minutes past 6 last Saturday morning, and accompanied the last witness to the back door of the house 29, Hanbury Street. He saw the body, but did not see anybody touch it. He did not think it possible that anyone could have done so without his seeing them. He saw Inspector Chandler arrive. The mob had got into the place then, but they were only standing at the back door. They all seemed too frightened to go into the yard.
Mrs. Amelia Richardson testified that she was a widow, and rented the first floor, part of the ground floor, and the cellar workshops at 29, Hanbury Street, where the body was found. She, her son, and another man carried on the business of packing-case making there. Her son was 37 years old. The other man was John Tyler. He ought to begin work at 6 o'clock, but was often late. Last Saturday morning he did not come till 8 o'clock. She had to send for him. Her son, who lived in John Street, Spitalfields, also worked in the market. About 6 o'clock last Saturday morning her grandson, Thomas Richardson, aged 14, who lived with her, came and said, "Oh, grandma, there's a woman murdered!" She had sent him down to see what was the matter, as the "traffic" coming through the passage made her think the place on fire. She went down immediately and saw the body of the deceased lying in the yard. There was no one in the yard at the time, but a lot of people were in the passage. Soon afterwards a constable arrived and ordered the people out. He was the first person to go into the yard as far as she knew. She occupied the first-floor front, and her grandson slept in the same room. She was usually very wakeful, and on Friday night was awake half the night. She woke at three o'clock on Saturday morning,
Do you mean that you did not go to sleep again? - No, I might have dozed, but that's all.
Did you hear no noise? - No.
Who occupies the first floor back? - An old gentleman called Waker, that makes lawn tennis rings. He sleeps there with his son. The son is 27 or 28 years old. He is not right.
Is he a lunatic or weak-minded? - He is weak-minded.
Is he inoffensive? - Very.
Who occupies the two rooms on the ground floor? - Mrs. Hardiman occupies the front with her son, aged 16. She has the shop, where she sells cats' meat. The son goes out with cats' meat. The back room is mine. I use it to cook in, but on Friday night I had a prayer meeting there. When I went to bed I locked the room and took the key with me. It was still locked when I came down to see the body on Saturday morning. The top floor is occupied by Mr. John Davis and his family and a little old lady that I keep out of charity - Mrs. Sarah Cox. The second floor front is occupied by Mr. Thompson, his wife, and an adopted little girl. He is a carman, and on Saturday morning I heard him at 10 minutes to four get up and go to his work, I heard him leave the house. He did not go into the back yard. As he passed my room I called out "Good morning, Thompson." The two Misses Cooksley live in the second floor back. They work in a cigar factory. When I went down to see the body on Saturday morning all the tenants were in the house except Mr. Thompson and Mr. Davis. The front and back doors are always left open. You can go into any of the houses about there at all times. They are all let out in rooms. I have lived there about 15 years.
A juryman: You have property there?
Have you ever had anything stolen? - No, although I have sometimes left my room doors unfastened all night.
You consider them all honest people in the neighbourhood? - Yes.
The Coroner: Did you ever know anybody to come into the passage or the lobby of the house during the night?
Witness: Yes; a short time ago there was a man on the stairs. I called out, and Mr. Thompson, who was going out about half-past three or four o'clock, asked him "What are you doing here?" The man said, "I am waiting for the market." Mr. Thompson said "You've no right here, guv'nor." I can hear anybody going through the passage. Being wood it sounds.
You mean if you are awake? - Yes, and the least sound wakes me.
But it is evident two people went through on Saturday morning? - Yes; but that being market morning there is such a bustle.
Did you hear anybody go through the passage on Saturday morning? - No, sir; I did not.
People frequently do go through, don't they? - Yes; they go into the back yard.
I suppose sometimes people go through who have no business there? - Yes, sometimes; but on Saturday morning nobody went through. If they did, they must have been very quiet.
They must have gone quietly intentionally? - Yes.
A Juryman: If people went through in that quiet way it would be for an immoral purpose. Do you allow that sort of thing?
The Witness: No; I should not allow any stranger to go through the passage if I knew it.
Mrs. Harriet Hardiman said she lived at 29, Hanbury Street, and sold cats' meat there. She occupied the ground-floor front room. On Friday night she went to bed at half-past ten. Her son lived in the same room. She slept very soundly that night, and did not wake till about six o'clock on Saturday morning, when she heard people tramping through the passage. Thinking there was a fire, she sent her boy to look. Coming back, he said, "Don't upset yourself, mother; it's a woman's been killed in the yard." The witness did not go out of her own room, and did not see the sight. She had heard nothing that night. People often went through the passage of the house, but she never got out to see who they were. She had never seen the deceased in her life to her knowledge.
John Richardson, son of a previous witness, said he lived in John Street, Spitalfields, was a porter in Spitalfields Market, and helped his mother with her packing-case business. About a quarter to five o'clock on Saturday morning he went to 29, Hanbury Street, to see if the cellar where they made the packing-cases was all secure, because a few months back somebody broke into it and took two saws and two hammers.
The Coroner: Do you go every morning to see if the cellar is secure? - No; only on market mornings, when I am out early and there's a good lot of people about. I have done so for some months.
Is that all you went for? - Yes, sir.
A Juror: His mother said there had been no robberies.
The Witness: She forgot. If you will ask her, you will see that it is right.
The Coroner: On other than market mornings do you leave the cellar to take care of itself? - Yes, sir.
Was the front door open on Saturday morning?
The Witness: No, sir; it was shut. So was the back door. I opened it and sat on the back steps to cut a piece of leather off my boot.
What sort of a knife did you use? - One 4 or 5 ins. long.
What do you usually use that knife for? - I had been using it to cut up a piece of carrot for the rabbit, and I afterwards put it in my pocket.
Do you generally keep it in your pocket? - No.
Why did you put it there on this occasion? - I suppose it was a mistake on my part.
When you had cut the piece of leather off your boot did you leave the house? - Yes. I tied my boot up and went out. I did not close the back door. It closes itself. I shut the front door. I was not in the house more than two minutes at the most. It was not quite light, but enough for me to see.
Did you notice any object in the yard? - No, sir. I could not have failed to notice the deceased if she had been there then.
You have heard where she was found? - Yes; I saw the body.
How came you to see it? - A man in the market told me there had been a murder in Hanbury Street. He did not know at which house. I saw the body from the adjoining yard.
When did you first think your boot wanted cutting? - It hurt my toe, and I cut a piece out the day before, but I found I had not cut enough.
Then all you did at Hanbury Street was to cut your boot? - That's all, sir.
Did you go into the yard at all? - Not at all, sir.
I thought you went there to see that the cellar was all right? - Yes; but you don't need to go into the yard to see that. You can see the padlock of the cellar door from the back door steps.
And that was the sole object you had in going there? - Yes, sir.
Did you sit on the top step? - No, the second step.
Where were your feet? - On the flags of the yard.
You must have been quite close to where the body was found? - Quite right, sir. If she had been there at the time I must have seen her.
Have you seen any strangers in the passage of the house? - Yes, lots; plenty of them, at all hours.
Men and women? - Yes; and I have turned them out. I have seen them lying down on the landing.
Do they go there for an immoral purpose? - They do. I have caught them.
A Juror: His mother said she never knew anybody to go for an immoral purpose.
The Coroner: Has your knife been seen by the police?
The Witness: No, sir.
Have you got it with you? - No.
The Coroner: Go and get it.
The witness went away to obey this order, accompanied by a policeman.
Mrs. Richardson, recalled in her son's absence, said she had never had anything stolen from her house.
The Coroner: Have you ever lost anything from the cellar?
The Witness: Oh, yes; I have missed a saw and a hammer, but that is a long time ago. They broke the padlock of the cellar door at the time. My son now comes to see whether it is all right almost every morning before he goes to market.
Do you understand that he goes down to the cellar door? - No, he can see from the steps.
Have you ever had suspicion that the house or the yard was used for immoral purposes? - No, sir.
Have you said something about a leather apron? - Yes, my son always wears a leather apron at his work in the cellar.
It is rather a dangerous thing for anybody to wear a leather apron at present. Have you ever washed your son's apron?
Yes, sir; I washed it last Thursday, because I found it in the cellar mildewed. He had not used it for a month. We are so slack. I put it under the tap in the yard and left it there till Saturday morning, when the police took it away. There was a pan of beautiful clean water under the tap on Saturday morning about half-past 7, after the body was moved. It could not have been disturbed. It was in the same position as on Friday night.
Has your son ever spoken to you about finding strange men on the first floor landing? - No.
John Piser [Pizer], one of the men lately arrested and liberated again, was sworn in the Jewish manner, and not cautioned. He gave his evidence in an intelligent, collected manner, but with a slight trace of nervousness: I live at 22, Mulberry Street, Commercial Road East, and am a shoemaker.
Are you known by the nickname of "Leather Apron"? - Yes, sir.
Where were you on Friday night? - I was at 22, Mulberry Street, Commercial Road East.
What time did you go home? - I never went out from Thursday night.
Where did you come from? - From the West End.
What time did you reach home on Thursday night? - About a quarter to 11 o'clock.
Who lives there? - My stepmother, brother, and sister.
How long did you remain indoors? - Till I was arrested by Sergeant Thicke on Monday last at 9 p.m. I had never left the house from Thursday night.
Why were you remaining indoors? - Because my brother advised me.
You were the object of suspicion? - I was the object of a false suspicion.
The Coroner: It was not the best advice that could be given you.
The Witness: I had proofs that I should have been torn to pieces.
You are not in custody now? - No, sir. Pardon me; I wish to vindicate my character to the world at large.
The Coroner: Yes; you are called here partly to give you the opportunity of doing so. Can you tell us where you were last Thursday week? (It was on the following morning at four o'clock that Mary Ann Nicholls was found murdered in Buck's Row, Whitechapel).
The Witness: I was staying at Crossmann's common lodging-house in Holloway Road. I passed the night there, going in about two, or quarter past, on Friday morning. I had previously had my supper there. During the interval I had been after a fire, but did not get to it. A policeman said he thought it was at the Albert Docks. I left the lodging-house at 11 o'clock on Friday morning.
Is there anything else you want to say? - No, sir.
Do you call Holloway Road the West End? - No, sir. By that I mean Peter Street, Westminster. Last Thursday I arrived at home from Peter Street, Westminster.
The Coroner: It is only fair to say that I believe the witness's statement is completely corroborated.
The Witness (bowing several times): Thank you, sir. I am quite satisfied, and I hope you are. Mr. Thicke, that has my case in hand, has known me for upwards of eighteen years.
The Coroner: I don't think you need to say any more.
The Witness: Thank you, sir; so long as you believe that I have clean hands.
Detective-Sergeant Thicke deposed that on Monday morning he apprehended the last witness at 22, Mulberry Street.
The Coroner: When people in the neighbourhood speak of "Leather Apron" do they mean Piser?
The Witness: They do, sir.
Has he been released from custody? - He was released yesterday about 9:30 p.m.
John Richardson recalled, handed to the coroner a small table-knife with half the blade broken off. At the request of the coroner he had been home to fetch it. It was the one with which he cut a piece off his boot last Saturday morning while sitting on the back doorstep at 29, Hanbury Street, and appeared to be a very ineffective weapon.
Henry J. Holland testified that he was one of the persons who saw the deceased lying dead in the yard behind 29, Hanbury Street. He went into the yard, but did not touch the body. Then he went for a policeman, whom he found in Spitalfields Market. The officer said he could not come, and the witness must get a constable outside the market. The witness went back, but could not find any other policeman. Inspector Chandler arrived soon after.
A Juror: Did the policeman in the market give any explanation why he could not come?
The Witness: I told him it was a similar case to that of Buck's Row, and he said I should find two constables outside the market, but he could not come. I reported his conduct at the Commercial Street Station the same afternoon.
The Coroner: There does not seem to have been much delay before Inspector Chandler arrived.
Inspector Helson: The constables in the market have instructions not to move from their posts.
The inquest was then adjourned till 2 o'clock on Thursday.
On Thursday the adjourned inquest respecting the death of Annie Chapman, whose body was found in a frightfully mutilated state in the back yard of the house, No. 29, Hanbury Street, Whitechapel, on Saturday morning, was resumed by Mr. Wynne Baxter and a jury, in the Working Lads' Institute, Whitechapel Road.
The following further evidence was taken: -
Police Inspector Joseph Chandler stated that at ten minutes past six on Saturday morning, when a man told him that another woman had been murdered at No. 29, Hanbury Street, he went to the yard behind the house and found no one there. He saw the body of a woman lying on the ground on her back, her head being nearly 2 ft. from the wall, and 6 or 9 ins. from the steps. A portion of the intestines were above the right shoulder. After giving a minute description of the appearance of the body, the witness stated that he sent for Dr. Phillips and also for the ambulance. He saw that no one touched the body till the doctor arrived, about half-past six. Meanwhile he got a piece of canvas from a neighbour and threw it over the body. After the removal of the body he examined the yard and found a piece of coarse muslin and a small haircomb lying near her feet. He also found a small piece of paper and a portion of an envelope containing the stamp of the Sussex Regiment and two pills. On the piece of the envelope was written the letter M, and it had the London post stamp. The letters "S.P--" were also written on the envelope, but the writing after the P was torn off. He also observed a leather apron near the tap, a nailbox, and a piece of flat steel which Mrs. Richardson had since identified and accounted for. There was no appearance of a struggle having taken place in the yard, and there was no evidence of anyone having recently got over the railings. There were marks discovered on the wall of the yard No. 25, and these had been seen by the doctor. Every examination had been made, but no bloodstains were found outside the yard, but there were some blood stains near the body. He searched the clothing of the deceased at the mortuary. Her outside jacket - a long black jacket - had blood stains; there were blood stains round the neck, and two or three on the left arm. There was no pocket in the clothing, but a large pocket worn under the skirt was torn down the front and also at the side, and it was quite empty. He gave a description of her clothing, which was very little soiled. John Richardson, who was in the yard at a quarter past five, told him he was sure the body was not there at that time.
The Foreman: Are you going to producer the prisoner who is said to have been with her?
The Witness: No, we have not been able to find him yet; and no one can give us any idea of where he is. Parties have been requested to communicate with the police if he came home.
Police-sergeant Badham gave evidence as to conveying the body to the mortuary.
Robert Mann gave evidence as to his being in charge of the mortuary till the doctor came at two o'clock, and in the course of his evidence,
The Coroner said Whitechapel has no mortuary. What was called the mortuary is simply a shed belonging to the workhouse official. It is not a proper mortuary at all. The East End is more deficient in mortuaries than any other place.
Timothy Donovan, deputy of the lodging-house at 29, Hanbury Street [sic], said: I recognise the handkerchief produced as one which the deceased used to wear. She bought it of a lodger about a week or a fortnight ago. She was wearing it on the Saturday morning when she left the lodging-house. She was wearing it three-corner wise round her neck, with a black woollen sort of scarf underneath. It was tied in front in a knot.
The Foreman of the Jury: Would you recognise the pensioner, Ted Stanley, if you saw him?
A Juror: Ted Stanley is not the pensioner.
The Foreman understood he was, and repeated the question.
Witness: I would recognise "Harry the Hawker," if I saw him, but not Ted Stanley.
The Foreman asked who was the man who was drinking with some women in a public-house?
The Coroner referred back to the evidence where both Ted Stanley and "Harry the Hawker" were spoken of as being in the public-house with some women, and said there was nothing to show that they were the same person.
The Foreman said he referred to the pensioner - the man who regularly came to see and lived with the deceased. That man ought to be produced.
The Coroner concurred.
The Foreman (to the witness): Would you recognise the pensioner if you saw him?
The Coroner: Have you seen him since Saturday?
Why did you not send him on to the police? - He would not stop.
The Foreman: What was he like? - He had a soldierly appearance. He dressed differently at different times, and did not always look so gentlemanly.
A Juror: He is not Ted Stanley.
Dr. George Bagster Phillips was next examined. He deposed: - I have been divisional police-surgeon for 23 years. On Saturday last I was called by the police at 20 minutes past six a.m. to go to 29, Hanbury Street. I arrived there by half-past six. I found the dead body of a female in the possession of the police, lying in the back-yard on her back, on the left-hand of the steps that lead from the passage of the house into the yard. The head was about 6 ins. in front of the level of the bottom step, and her feet were towards a shed, which proved to be one containing wood, at the bottom of the yard. The left arm was placed across the left breast, the legs were drawn up, the feet resting on the ground, and the knees turned outwards. The face was swollen and turned on the right side. The tongue protruded between the front teeth, but not beyond the lips. The tongue was evidently much swollen. The teeth were perfect, so far as the first molar top and bottom, and very fine teeth they were. The small intestines and a flap of the wall of the belly, together with the cover of the intestines, were lying on the right side of the body, on the ground above the right shoulder, attached to the remaining portion, of the intestines inside the body by a coil of intestine. Two flaps of the wall of the belly were lying in a large quantity of blood above the left shoulder. I searched the yard, and found a small piece of coarse muslin, a small-tooth comb, and a pocket-comb in a paper case, lying at the feet of the woman, near the paling, and they apparently had been arranged there in order. I delivered these things into the keeping of the police. I also found a leather apron. The body was cold, except that there was a certain remaining heat under the intestines that remained in the body. The stiffness of the limbs was not marked, but it was evidently commencing. I noticed that the throat was dissevered deeply, and that the incision through the skin was jagged, and reached right round the neck. On the back wall of the house, between the steps and the palings which bounded the yard on the left side, about 18 ins. from the ground, there were about six patches of blood varying in size from a sixpenny piece to a small point, and on the wooden palings between the yard in question and the next there were smears of blood corresponding to where the head of the deceased lay. This was about 14 ins. in front, and immediately above the part where the blood lay that had flowed from the neck, which blood was well clotted. Having received your instructions, sir, soon after two o'clock on Saturday afternoon I went to the labour-yard of Whitechapel Union for the purpose of further examining the body and making the usual examination. I was surprised to find that the body had been stripped and was lying ready on the table for my examination. That examination I proceeded to make, and here must state, and I hope the jury will take notice of it, that it was under great disadvantage that I did it. As on many occasions I have met with the same difficulty, I now raise my protest, as I have before, that members of my profession should be called upon to perform their duties under these inadequate circumstances.
The Coroner: The mortuary is not fitted for a post-mortem examination? - There is no adequate convenience.
The Foreman of the Jury: I think we can all endorse the doctor's opinion of it.
The Witness: At certain seasons of the year it is most dangerous to the operator.
The Coroner: As a matter of fact there is no public mortuary from the City of London up to Bow. There is one at Mile End, a very nice mortuary; but it belongs to the workhouse. They have an adequate one for their own purposes, but they will not allow it to be used for general purposes.
The witness, continuing his evidence, said: The body had evidently been attended to since its removal to the mortuary - probably partially washed. I noticed the same protrusion of the tongue, a bruise over the right molar-bone, and reaching over the temple and the upper eyelid. There was a bruise under the clavicle, and two distinct bruises (each the size of the top of a man's thumb) on the forepart of the chest. The stiffness of the limbs was now well marked. There was a bruise over the middle carpal bone of the first finger of the right hand. The finger nails were turgid; the lips also. There was an old scar of long standing on the left of the frontal bone. The stiffness was more noticeable on the left side, and especially in the fingers, which were partly closed. There was an abrasion over the bend of the first joint of the ring finger. There were distinct markings of a ring or rings - probably the latter - and there were small sores on the fingers. The head being opened showed that the membranes of the brain were opaque, and the veins and tissues coated with blood of a dark character. The front had been severed, and the entire structures from the bony portion of the vertebral or spinal column had been entirely separated. The incisions of the skin indicated that they had been made from the left side of the neck on a line with the angle of the jaw, carried entirely round, and again in front of the neck, and ending at a point about midway between the jaw and the sternal or breast bone on the right side. There were two distinct cuts on the body of the vertebrae on the left side of the spine. They were parallel to each other, and separated about half an inch. There were appearances as if an attempt had been made to separate the bones of the neck. There are various other mutilations of the body, but I am of opinion that they occurred subsequently to the death of the woman, and subsequently to the large escape of blood from the neck.
The witness said he was prepared, in giving his opinion as to the cause of death, to go into further details as to the mutilation, but did not think they were of a nature fit for publication.
The coroner observed that the object of the inquiry was to ascertain not only the cause of death, but the means by which it was effected. Supposing anyone were charged with the crime, the details would have to come out at the trial, and it might be matter for comment that the same evidence was not given at the inquest.
The Witness: I am entirely in your hands.
The Coroner: We will postpone that for the present. Yon can give your opinion as to how the death was caused.
The Witness: From these appearances I am of opinion that the breathing was interfered with previous to death, and that death arose from syncope, or failure of the heart's action, in consequence of the loss of blood.
What sort of instrument must have been used? Would it have been the same for the abdomen as the throat? - Very probably. It must have been a very sharp knife, probably with a thin narrow blade, and must have been at least 6 to 8 ins. in length - probably longer. The appearance of the wounds did not give me the impression that they had been caused by such an instrument as a bayonet or a sword-bayonet.
Would such an instrument as a medical man uses for post-mortem purposes have caused them? - Yes; but the ordinary post-mortem case would probably not contain such an instrument.
Would any instrument that a slaughterer uses have caused them? - Yes; well ground down.
Would the knife of a cobbler or of one employed in the leather trade have caused them? - I think the blade of the knives used in the leather trade would not be long enough.
Was there any anatomical knowledge displayed? - I think there was. There were indications of it; my own impression is that anatomical knowledge was only less displayed or indicated in consequence of the haste. The person evidently was hindered from making a more complete dissection in consequence of the haste.
Is the whole of the body there? - No, sir, the absent portions being parts of the abdomen.
Are those portions such as would require anatomical knowledge to extract? - I think the mode in which they were extracted did show some anatomical knowledge.
You do not think that those parts could have been lost in the transit of the body to the mortuary? - I was not present at the transit. I carefully closed up the clothes of the woman. They were excised from the body, but they might have been lost.
How long had the deceased been dead when you first saw the body? - I should say at least two hours, and probably more, but it is right in connection with that opinion to say that it was a fairly cold morning, and that the body would be more apt to cool rapidly from its having lost the greater portion of its blood.
Was there, in your opinion, any evidence of any struggle? - No, sir, not about the body of the woman, but you must not forget the smearing of the blood upon the palings.
In your opinion did she enter the yard alive? - I am positive of it. I may mention that after I made a thorough search of the passage and the approach to the house that I saw no marks of blood, which must have been traceable if she had not entered the yard alive. That was when I visited the premises in the morning. I discovered the apron, and there were no evidences of blood upon it. It had the appearance to my eye of not having been unfolded recently. I was shown some stains on the wall at 25, Hanbury Street yesterday morning. To the eye of a novice it no doubt looks like blood, but I have not been able to trace any signs of it. I have not quite finished my investigation into the last circumstance, but I am almost convinced that I shall not find that it is blood.
We have not had any result of your examination of the internal organs; were they diseased? - Yes, but that has nothing to do with the cause of death. She was far advanced in disease of the lungs and of the membranes of the brain. The disease of the lungs was of long standing. The stomach contained a meal of food, but there were no signs of her having indulged largely in alcohol. Although she was fatty, I think there were signs that she had been badly fed. I am convinced that she had not taken any strong alcohol some hours before her death.
The Coroner: None of these injuries, I suppose, were self-inflicted? - The injuries which were the immediate cause of death were certainly not self-inflicted. The marks on the face were evidently recent, particularly about the chin. The bruises in front of the temple and on the chest were of longer standing, probably of days. I am clearly of opinion that the person who cut the deceased's throat took hold of her by the chin and then commenced the incision from left to right.
The Coroner: Could that be done so instantaneously that a person could not cry out?
Witness: By pressure on the throat no doubt it would be possible.
The Foreman of the Jury: There would probably be suffocation?
The witness was understood to express assent.
Mary Elizabeth Simonds, a resident nurse at the Whitechapel Infirmary, stated that on the morning of the murder she attended at the mortuary with a senior nurse. They stripped the body of the deceased, and washed off the stains of blood. There was some blood about the chest, and it seemed to be run down from the throat. She found the pocket which had been produced tied round the waist of deceased. There was no tears or cuts in the clothes.
Inspector Chandler subsequently came forward, and said that he did not instruct the nurses to strip and wash the body.
The inquest was further adjourned till Wednesday next at two o'clock.
|Home: Timeline - Annie Chapman|
|Dissertations: Cadosch – The Other Side of the Fence|
|Dissertations: Considerable Doubt and the Death of Annie Chapman|
|Dissertations: Long -vs- Cadoche|
|Dissertations: The Pensioner, and a Brief History of Fort Elson|
|Dissertations: Windows and Witnesses|
|Message Boards: Annie Chapman|
|Message Boards: Annie Chapman, Jack the Ripper Victim: A Short Biography|
|Official Documents: Annie Chapman's Inquest|
|Press Reports: Alderley and Wilmslow Advertiser - 21 September 1888|
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|Ripper Media: Annie Chapman, Jack the Ripper Victim: A Short Biography|
|Ripper Media: Dark Annie (Piston Baroque)|
|Victims: Annie Chapman|
|Victims: Testimonies of Elizabeth Long and Albert Cadoche|
|Victorian London: Hanbury Street|
|Press Reports: Daily News - 5 October 1888|
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|Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide - John Pizer|